SELMA — Dionne Ewing, Lemoore Tigers softball head coach, huddled her team in left field of Duran Diamond in Selma after a 6-4 loss to No. 3 seed Selma High in the quarterfinals of the Division III playoffs.
The message from Ewing to her No. 6 seed Tigers, who had battled back from a 4-1 deficit, was to not leave with their heads down.
“I am so proud of the team. This is the best game that they played this year,” said Ewing. “They had so much fight in them. Our defense held strong and I was pleased. I think our seniors left an awesome legacy for the players who will be back.”
Lemoore, who ended the season with a 12-10-1 record, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after an RBI double by Jacquelyn Esquer drove in Sierra Phelps, who singled to lead off the game.
The Bears tied the game in the bottom of the second inning after Dominique Trevino walked with the bases loaded. The Bears added three more runs in the inning to take a 4-1 lead.
Lemoore’s McKenzie Dutra singled in the top of the third inning, scoring Phelps and cutting Selma’s lead to 4-2. Dutra finished 2-for-4
Selma added to their lead in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single by Marissa Cerda. This gave Selma a 5-2 lead after three innings.
The Tigers scored in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Esquer. It was her second RBI of the game. She finished 3-for-4. The Tigers added another run in the top of the sixth inning after Dutra singled to drive in a run.
Selma extended the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning after a sacrifice fly by Christiana Wallace scored Jadyn Hurtado.
Lemoore had two runners on base in the top of the seventh inning but were unable to score.
Despite the loss, Ewing was proud that her team battled until the very end and believes this will be a learning experience for the players who will be returning next season.
“Now they know what to expect and what to do and they can come back next year and know they have to fight all year long,” Ewing said. “When you know that you left it all on the dirt then you can walk away with your head held high. You are sad because this team will never be together again, but you don’t walk away disappointed.”
The Tigers were coming off a 10-2 victory over Santa Maria in the first round of the playoffs on May 7.